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William Maley

Industry News: Cheers & Gears Weekend Edition - October 27, 2012

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William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

October 27, 2012

Everyday, I go through a number of stories that I will post on Cheers & Gears. However, a good number of stories that I have picked out don’t make it onto the page during the week and either get posted next week or never.

That’s where the the Cheers & Gears’ Weekend Edtion comes in. Its where the stories that gotten forgotten about during the week get their due. In this second edition, we’ll be covering,

  • Two New Honda Models Based On The Fit
  • Ford's Flat Rock Plant Welcomes A New Vehicle
  • Tesla's Trade-Up
  • and More

Next: Honda's Two Vehicles Based on Fit


Rumorpile: Next-Generation Honda Fit To Spawn Two New Models

Honda is readying a next-generation Fit due out sometime next year and it won’t be coming alone. Car & Driver reports that along with the Fit, two models based on it will be coming to the states.

gallery_10485_484_585722.png

Model #1 is the a sedan version of the Fit. Honda currently sells one called the City in certain countries including Thailand and India. The reasoning behind this decision; despite hatchbacks gaining popularity in the U.S., sedans are the preferred choice. Example: The Ford Fiesta. The sedan outsells the hatchback by a factor of 2 to 1.

Model #2 is a subcompact crossover that will compete with the Nissan Juke and Jeep’s upcoming model.

Source: Car and Driver

Next: Ford's Flat Rock Welcomes A New Vehicle

[next]

Ford’s Flat Rock Plant Has Some New Visitors

Earlier this week, the Detroit Free Press reported that Ford’s Flat Rock Michigan plant could be getting the Lincoln MKS and Ford Taurus to build. The move, which is reported to happen in 2014, will security and possibly more than 1,400 jobs that is coming from a current expansion.

gallery_10485_484_300500.png

This a sharp contrast from last year as the Flat Rock plant could barely build enough Ford Mustangs and Mazda6s. Then Mazda announced they would be leaving the Flat Rock, leaving workers wondering if Flat Rock would be kept open. Ford would keep the plant open with the announcement of the Fusion being built starting in February. That announcement also would bring 1,200 jobs, a number which has since jumped to 1,400.

At the moment, Ford builds the Taurus, MKS, and its derivatives at Chicago. Sources tell the Free Press that Flat Rock will be getting the next-generation MKS in 2014. There’s also the possibility of the Taurus coming as well.

"I'm looking forward to adding jobs to the Downriver area and to help the community," said Steve Gonzales, president of UAW Local 3000, which represents workers at Flat Rock.

A Ford spokesman declined to comment.

Source: Detroit Free Press

Next: Tesla's Trade-Up


Tesla’s Trade-up Program For Roadster Owners

Lets say you happen to own a Tesla Roadster and you want to get your hands on a new Model S. Well this week, Tesla has announced a new buyback program for Roadster owners.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Tesla’s buyback program works by the company buying back roadsters from owners and giving them a credit that can be used to purchase a new Model S. From there, the Roadster would go into one of Tesla’s stores where it would be sold.

gallery_10485_484_477043.png

"Someone who couldn't reach all the way to a Roadster before, now may be able to get one at a lower price. We're able to set what I think are pretty competitive prices for these cars,” said Tom vonReichbauer, Tesla's director of finance.

Don’t expect a handsome discount though. Despite the Roadster costing $109,000 when new, the Chronicle says the average price range for a used Roadster will go from $73,000 to $94,000.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Next: Honey, I Shrunk The Lancer


Next Mitsubishi Lancer To Go Smaller

The Australian automotive site, The Motor Report had a chance to speak with Mitsubishi Motors Corporation President Osamu Masuko. Masuko revealed an interesting piece of information dealing with the next-generation Lancer.

“The new Lancer will be a very new car, and will be sized somewhere between the current model and its predecessor.”

gallery_10485_484_719718.png

The downsizing of the Lancer will bring forth a lighter vehicle, meaning better handling and fuel economy. However, the downsizing will mean Mitsubishi will have to pull some clever techniques to match the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, and others in interior space.

When asked about this report by Autoblog, Mitsubishi’s U.S. offic said they "cannot confirm any plans on the Lancer for this market at this time."

Source: The Motor Report

Next: Hyundai and Kia's Turbo and Diesel Plans


Hyundai and Kia: More Turbos and Diesels For Everyone*

This week, Hyundai and Kia announced that their powertrain lineups around the world will be growing with new turbocharged and diesel engines.

gallery_10485_484_79203.png

The announcement comes from the companies’ International Powertrain Conference. One of the new engines is a 3.0L turbo, direct-injected V6 that is expected to produce 350 HP and get 32-33 MPG on the highway. This engine will likely appear in the next-generation Genesis.

Also, Hyundai and Kia announced new transmissions to complement the engines.

Hyundai and Kia don’t say when the new engines will arrive, nor where the new diesel engines will land.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Left Lane News

Next: Quick Hits


Quick Hits:

Autoblog got their hands on the first spy shots of the C7 Corvette convertible. The big story with this is that mule is wearing a softtop and not a hardtop. Other than that, we know the Convertible will have the new LT1 that GM showed back on Wednesday.

Source: Autoblog

A Kia representative let slip to AutoGuide that they are working a sports car of some sort to appear next year. The vehicle will be in the affordable performance class, joining vehicles like the Scion FR-S, Ford Focus ST, Hyundai Genesis coupe, and others.

AutoGuide speculates the Kia will be a version of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, though they aren’t ruling out a hot hatch.

Source: AutoGuide

Mercedes-Benz looks be readying a concept that will preview the new S-Class sometime early next year. Autocar believes the concept will be a version of the virtual ‘Aesthetics S’ sculpture shown at the Paris Motor Show earlier this year.

Mercedes-Benz design chief Gorden Wagener said the next-generation S-Class would be “pure and timeless”.

The new S-Class is expected to be shown in production form sometime later this year.

Source: Autocar

Finally, we have the date of when the new Mitsubishi Outlander will go on sale in the U.S. Roger Yasukawa, a Mitsubishi Motors North America spokesman told Inside Line the new crossover would likely go on sale sometime next year as a 2014 model. The plug-in hybrid Outlander will arrive either in late 2013 or 2014.

Source: Inside Line

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


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